Ettersburg Castle and Park

Hunting lodge and summer residence of the Weimar dukes

The oldest settlement finds, remains of an early medieval refuge castle and a large noble castle destroyed by Landgrave Heinrich Raspe in 1227, testify to the early importance of the Ettersberg.

  • Landschaftspark und Schloss Ettersburg
  • Landschaftspark und Schloss Ettersburg

The 478 meter high “Weimar Hausberg” [Weimar Local Mountain] was the preferred hunting ground of the Weimar princes. Between 1706 and 1711, Duke Wilhelm Ernst had a hunting lodge built as a simple three-winged complex on the foundation walls of a canons' monastery founded around 1084 and later Augustinian monastery in Ettersburg. In the middle of the forest, a hunting star, from which ten dead-straight swathes led off, and a small courtship castle were created. One of the “avenues” led directly to the Old Castle and the Corps de Logis, completed around 1738. This New Castle, commissioned by Duke Ernst August, was surrounded by baroque parterres.
Anna Amalia chose Ettersburg Castle as her summer residence after her son Carl August took office in 1775. A substantial “empfindsame” [sensitive] park landscape was created around the buildings. Even today, the aging tulip tree in front of the rifle hall is impressive.

Goethe, Wieland, Bertuch and Herder were frequent visitors to Ettersburg Palace, where guests could enjoy music, readings, dances and animated literary discussions. The goings-on at what came to be known as the “Nation of Ettersburg Palace” lent the locale an aura of both fame and notoriety. Duchess Anna Amalia had a theatre built for this Court of the Muses in the banquet hall of the Old Palace, where Goethe produced plays such as “Jahrmarktsfest zu Plundersweilern” (1778) and “Iphigenie auf Tauris” (1779). Attracted by the serene atmosphere at Ettersburg, Friedrich Schiller completed his “Maria Stuart” there in spring 1800. Guests at a grand hunt held in 1808 on Ettersberg hill included Tsar Alexander I, Emperor Napoleon I and numerous German princes. When Carl Alexander and his wife, Princess Sophie of the Netherlands, took up residence there in the mid-19th century, Ettersburg once again became a prominent centre of intellectual and artistic encounters. Through the presence of figures such as Franz Liszt, Hans Christian Andersen and Friedrich Hebbel, Ettersburg experienced a second heyday. Eduard Petzold, appointed as Weimar court gardener in 1844, was enlisted to extend the park and remodel it in the English style. His master, Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, himself laid out the so-called “Pückler-Schlag” in 1845, a forest meadow some 900 metres in length reaching up to the peak of the hill, one of Europe’s most important garden landmarks. Ettersburg’s landscape park is a singular example of Prince Pückler-Muskau’s bold and sweeping concepts for artistic landscaping. In 1998 Ettersburg Palace and Landscape Park were declared part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site “Classical Weimar”. From 2004 to 2006 the palace was revitalised by its new owner, Bildungswerk BAU Hessen-Thüringen e.V., and the complex has now found new uses as an academy, conference centre and cultural site. At the end of the Pückler-Schlag the “time lane” set up in 1999 along a former hunting path leads all the way to the Buchenwald memorial site.

Amenities and Facilities

Hunting lodge and summer residence of the Weimar dukes has the following amenities and facilities:

Event location




Hours of operation & ticket prices:

Landscape park

The landscape park is freely accessible all year round.


Ettersburg Castle is used as a conference center and is not open to the public.


Ettersburg Castle and Park

Klassik Stiftung Weimar

Burgplatz 4
99423 Weimar
Phone: +49 / 36 43 / 545 400
Fax: 0 36 43 / 545 401

Mark 10
99423 Weimar

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Schloss Ettersburg
Am Schloss 1
99439 Ettersburg
Phone: +49 / 36 43 / 74 28 418
Fax: +49 / 36 43 / 74 284 46

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